Siti : Former model back for round two

She was a model at the tender age of 16 but after a 10-year hiatus, Siti is now back as part of a contender for Miss and Mrs Singapolitan 2017. She has overcome numerous obstacles to reach this point and this gorgeous woman shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. She is a true force of nature and it was a pleasure for us to sit down with her to talk about her past experiences and what she has gained from this pageant.

How did you get into modelling at such a young age?

I actually never considered myself attractive in my school days and was always one of those bookish tomboys whom you’d hardly notice. I was not into wearing heels or even makeup. It was actually my uncles and aunties who encouraged me to try modelling to bring up my self-esteem. I was a really shy girl back then and never felt confident about myself.  Over time, as more and more people told us to give it a chance,  my father left the decision up to me and I decided to give it a shot. At the age of 16, I took part in Ford Supermodel Search, New Paper New Face and Elite Model Search. I didn’t win those competitions but following that, I was approached by bridal shops and boutiques to model for their products and designs. I was also asked to do a few runways.

What challenges did you encounter when you first entered the industry and how did you overcome them?

I had serious stage fright. I would have trouble making eye contact with the audience when on stage and when I actually do, I would clamp up and completely lose my cool. But then I told myself that if I wanted to be in the limelight and be an ambassador for all these brands, I need to be confident and project it in terms of my body language and movement. So what I would do is I would pretend that the audience was just made up of my friends and family members, and the fear in me just naturally subsided.

Why did you then decide to stop modelling?

I got married at the young age of 20 and had my first child at the age of 22. Marrying at such an early age can be really stressful and while most of your friends are out enjoying life over the weekends, you are at home taking care of your children. I had to prioritise the things that were most important to me in life and first and foremost, it was my kids.That’s why I took a break from modelling - to focus on my family, part-time studies and career.

What made you want to enter this pageant now?

I’ve been a single mother for almost 3 years now and my confidence level has taken a serious hit ever since then. Suddenly, I had gone back to being that timid and reserved girl that I was 13 years ago. I don’t want to be that person anymore and want my kids to be proud of their mother. I want them to know that their mother has the courage to overcome any obstacles and that she is not a failure. So that’s why I signed up.

What have you gained from this experience so far?

When I’m alone, I feel like giving up hope and lack any courage to overcome the struggles in my life. But when I’m with these strong and beautiful women, I feel motivated and that fear of failure goes away. I don’t feel empty or lonely when I’m with them. A beauty pageant is not just about outer beauty but also letting your inner beauty shine through despite your flaws.

Apart from that, my little princess also loves to see me in the limelight and she accompanies me to most of the catwalk rehearsals and fashion shoots. Ever since then, she has been doing her own catwalk and poses at home (laughs)

Regardless of whether you win or not, what would you want to do after this pageant?

Winning is one thing but regardless, I want to be an inspiration to all women out there and at the end of this journey, see in myself, a person with the determination, strength and courage to never admit defeat no matter what life throws at me. I want to tell single women out there that being single or alone doesn’t mean that it's the end of the road. There is still hope and you can still achieve. I do have this vision of becoming a motivational speaker in the future, inspiring other women with my words and actions.

I am also currently active in volunteer work and would like to carry that further. 2 years ago, my friend and I donated blankets to kids in war-torn Syria and I make it a yearly practice to contribute something to them over Ramadan and Eid as well  . I also do likewise for the Muhammadiyah Orphanage home over here . I love kids and I often tell my friends and family that if I was a millionaire, I would adopt all the kids over there and help provide them with safer homes and a proper education.  

What quote or expression would you print on a T-shirt that embodies your values and beliefs?

With every success comes great responsibility.

Miss and Mrs Singapolitan Islandwide 2017 will be shown on Vijay TV and Star Plus, starting from 26th May. You can also catch the action on Youtube.


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